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CUInsight: Demystifying Your Data Journey

Originally published 8.1.22 CUInsight

On average, a credit union has between 60-100 data sources. This alone feels overwhelming, but it simply feels daunting when attempting to harness this data to generate insights to help improve your members’ lives. This primary scenario keeps credit unions from starting or moving their data journey. McKinsey, a consultancy, has found that only 30% of financial institutions surveyed had a data strategy. This means that over 70% do not.

Here is a five-step framework to help your credit union focus and build a plan to launch your data transformation journey.

Step 1. Assess current condition

Understanding the current condition of data utilization to solve internal business and member problems is the foundation upon which to build. The insights in this assessment should include competition, ongoing disruption, and member engagement and spend.

Step 2. Determine enterprise data vision

Critical components of this vision should be identifying the business use case(s) to harness data. Here are four questions to help assess your organization’s data strategy’s current condition to clarify the direction.

  1. Is the enterprise data vision relevant?

  2. What friction do your members/customers experience doing business with your organization?

  3. How has our current data culture changed?

  4. What is the current state of our organizational data maturity?

Step 3. Develop a member-centric data use case

Take a chapter from a software development firm and build out the data use case’s end-user story. This helps frame the narrative around the results and helps achieve buy-in across business verticals. An excellent use case is to lessen the friction the member has doing business with your credit union.

Step 4. Build the foundation for a data maturity capability

This is where the heavy bricklaying needs to happen so that the data “house” can stand firm. Of course, this involves building a formal data governance program and business intelligence.

Step 5. Adoption of data into the workplace

Workplace adoption is the ultimate destination for a data transformation journey. To accomplish this successfully, credit union talent needs to know how to consume data output and translate it to create business value.

While this is quite a bit to consider, it should be. Here are some tips for success.

Start small. No need to select a vast, complex, or elaborate member friction. A small, simple one to start still helps the member.

Embracing Learning (not failure). The likelihood of doing something perfectly the first time is pretty low. So do not focus on perfection. Focus on progress.

Start! Your credit union loves being the best financial partner to its members. So don’t wait. Start today!


Is there a book out there that can help me navigate data transformation?


Written for credit unions by a credit union expert, Big Data/Big Climb: A credit Union playbook for leveraging data and talent to achieve revolutionary member relationships has been hailed as a "must-have".

The book cuts through techno-jargon and translates data transformation concepts into a playbook filled with real-world examples, assessment guides, and other tools needed to reduce member friction, analyze actual competition, and identify disruption to improve the lives of its members and gain competitive advantage.


What if I want something more interactive than the book?

For the same time that it takes to enjoy your lunch, you could be learning about the elements of a disruption analysis. Click here to learn how to access the recorded session on this topic.


Does someone teach a credit union how to build innovation as a capability?

Of course, we do, and so much more. To learn more, please review our consulting services.


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